The just man walks in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.
Of all the fatal flaws in “Christian” families, none are so deadly as false authenticity and hypocrisy. For a time, some families may talk a good talk and pretend to aspire to biblical standards in theology, education, dress, music, church involvement, economics, and evangelism. However, time is the great revealer. Eventually, those facades always wear thin, and the true condition of the heart becomes evident for all to see. When all the filth of the heart pours out, everyone around them will know that they pretended to be something they were not. Ananias and Sapphira piously claimed to have given the entire price of their holdings to the church, but it turned out that they lied. They presented themselves as something more than what they were, so God killed them (Acts 5:1–5). He is merciful to sinners, but he will not tolerate fakes. May God help us to walk in our integrity! This does not imply a sinless perfection. No, rather it is a humble and contrite assessment of ourselves and a life that comports with our profession. As the Apostle Paul tells the Ephesian brothers, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation wherewith you are called” (Eph. 4:1).
How then does this apply to a family? Occasionally, you will find a “Christian” father who persistently tries to hold his children to standards he would never hold to himself. He may speak strongly about family values and then proceed to divorce his own wife. He opposes abortion, but his relationships with his own children are in terrible shape. He demands obedience of his own children, but he has never really submitted himself to the elders in the church in any meaningful way. It won’t be long before this man’s children get the message. Hypocrisy is the name of the game. If Father lives his life as a hypocrite, why shouldn’t they? Or they may condemn their father’s hypocrisy, but embrace full-fledged, all-out rebellion against God, the church, and the Word the family pretended to profess. Sadly, this has been very much the legacy of the Christian faith in this country since the 1950s, during the great Western apostasy of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Thankfully, there is still a faithful man here and there who walks in his integrity! This man utterly repudiates hypocrisy and purges it from his own life wherever he finds it. He truly submits to the counsel of his elders to whom he is accountable. He humbly confesses his sin before his family when he sins against them. In his case, the man on the outside is the man on the inside, and he is a true man who loves His God and seeks to serve Him. And his children see it! By God’s blessing, his children will walk in God’s ways and be blessed!
A king that sits in the throne of judgment scatters away all evil with his eyes.
When John G. Paton, the great missionary of the 19th century, visited the heathen in the islands of the New Hebrides for the first time, he found the chaos of cannibalism, constant war, theft, kidnapping, and murder everywhere. From his first-hand reports, we learned that the first worship services were fairly chaotic, with the clucking of hens and the squealing of pigs everywhere. This is because the natives felt compelled to bring all of their personal belongings, including their animals, with them to the meetings for fear that their things would be stolen if they left them at home. You must remember that these islands were untouched by the influence of the Christian and Jewish law systems for thousands of years (unlike Europe, Russia, India, and China), and they had no understanding of biblical justice. As the Gospel penetrated these distant islands, court systems based on biblical law were put in place, securing the property and persons of those living on the islands. So eventually, the chickens and pigs stayed safely at home while the worship services took place!
Consider the great blessing of kings or judges that sit in the seats of judgment, whether they be in the South Sea islands of the New Hebrides or in your particular county. You do not have to live in constant fear that your property or life will be unjustly taken from you. In some places in this country, families feel comfortable leaving their homes unlocked as they take their vacations. This is for two reasons: there is still some respect for the power of the courts, and there is some just use of the power of the courts in those vicinities.
1. Do we live a life that comports with our profession? Or are we hiding some sin that grossly contradicts what we have professed to others? Give examples of how we might hold others to standards we do not hold to ourselves.
2. How safe is our city or county, in comparison to the New Hebrides? Is it safe to leave our doors unlocked at night? To what extent are the courts legislating and enforcing just laws against murder and theft (according to God’s laws) where we live? Do young men in our city or county really respect the power of the judges and police?